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Analysis of pastoralists’ perception on challenges and opportunities for sheep and goat production in Northern Kenya

Abdilatif, Mohamed Haji, Onono, Joshua Orungo, Mutua, Florence Kanini
Tropical animal health and production 2018 v.50 no.7 pp. 1701-1710
contagious caprine pleuropneumonia, control methods, disease control, drought, focus groups, goats, interviews, issues and policy, livelihood, livestock production, mortality, pastoralism, predation, questionnaires, sheep, tick-borne diseases, vaccination, veterinary services, Kenya
Small ruminants’ production contributes to livelihood of pastoral communities, but this faces myriad constraints. This study aimed at identifying challenges facing producers of small ruminants, prioritizing diseases and their control measures and documenting opportunities for improvement. Sixteen focus group discussions with livestock owners and 13 key informant interviews were done in selected areas in Mandera County, Northern Kenya, and both quantitative and qualitative data collected using a questionnaire guide. Occurrences of diseases (27.4%) and drought (25%) were consistently ranked high in all groups. Other production challenges included increased predation of livestock, inadequate delivery of veterinary services, and increased livestock mortalities. Peste des Petit ruminants was ranked high with a median rank of 21.5%, while contagious caprine pleuropneumonia and sheep and goat pox were ranked second and third, respectively. Other diseases included tick-borne diseases, helminthosis, and pneumonia. Vaccination was ranked as the most effective control strategy for infectious diseases. Other control measures included recitation of Quran and cauterization. However, several opportunities exist for support of small ruminants’ production: increased budgetary allocation for disease control by government, initiation of projects that enhance livestock production in the region by government and its development partners. These findings are useful for policy makers for disease control and organizations that are working on projects that focuses on enhancement of pastoralists’ resilience, while future research could also identify appropriate technologies that reduces these impacts.